Companies

Piaggio eyes Indian two-wheeler market

Roudra Bhattacharya Mumbai | Updated on November 14, 2017

Mr. Ravi Chopra, Chairman & Managing Director, Plaggio Vehicles Pvt Ltd poses for the photographers during the unveiling of " Aprilia RSV4" at Mumbai International Motor Show 2011. Pic by SHASHI ASHIWAL   -  BusinessLine

Piaggio is gearing up to launch a slew of new scooters and motorbikes in India as part of its strategy to re-enter the world's second largest two-wheeler market. These will largely involve the Vespa and Aprilia brands.

Piaggio is gearing up to launch a slew of new scooters and motorbikes in India as part of its strategy to re-enter the world's second largest two-wheeler market. These will largely involve the Vespa and Aprilia brands.

Company officials told Business Line that the Italian automaker is working on a new scooter range for India. To be launched by 2012-13, these will be marketed under the ‘Piaggio' mother brand. This range will be separate from the Vespa LX 125 scooter which is due to be launched during January-March next year. The targeted numbers are 1.5 lakh units a year.

“We are working on a new scooter range for the Indian mass market which will start with 125cc, while 150cc and 200cc options can also be expected. There will be a new engine with focus on performance and low fuel consumption with complete localisation,” said Mr Gregorio Alessio Ruffo, Global Purchase India and Development, Piaggio Vehicles.

Sister brand Aprilia, the premium motorbike maker and the 2010 Superbike Champion, is also considering a range of products for India. On Thursday, it unveiled its flagship model, the 1,000 cc RSV4 superbike. This will be fully imported and bookings will begin in April.

The pricing will be in the Rs 13 lakh – Rs 17 lakh range.

“The easiest way to introduce the Aprilia brand here is to start with sporty and even naked bikes. The next product could be a 125cc bike. We can develop these specifically for India or launch existing models such as the RS, SX and RX at a competitive price,” said Mr Umberto Basso, Aprilia Category Manager, 2 wheeler Product Marketing, Piaggio & C spa.

Aprilia is targeting nearly eight showrooms and service outlets in the next 12-18 months. For the Vespa range, however, Piaggio will have a separate network across 70 cities by 2011-12.

The company is investing €30 million on a new 1.5 lakh unit capacity scooter plant which will be built by this December. An additional €60 million has already been invested on a petrol and diesel engine plant. While the petrol engine is being exported to the parent company, a 1.2 litre diesel engine is being used in India and another 1 litre diesel engine will start production by April.

Piaggio is in talks with General Motors India to supply 1.2 litre diesel engines for its new LCV range being planned with Chinese partner SAIC. Company officials said GM is looking at an order size of around 50,000 units a year. Talks are expected to end by the end of this year. On its own, Piaggio sells LCVs under the ‘Ape' brand.

>roudra.b@thehindu.co.in

Published on January 21, 2011

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